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'The most difficult task, you go there and do it yourself' - Misbah

Misbah-ul-Haq had more than six uninterrupted years as Pakistan captain AFP

To sign off, a bit of history and a lot of drama: if ever a 101-run victory can said to have been stolen, then it was by Pakistan on the final day in Dominica. Yasir Shah's fifth wicket of the innings, off the last ball of the penultimate over of the Test, sealed a series win, Pakistan's first ever in the Caribbean. For the captain Misbah-ul-Haq, a man whose career has resounded with moments of extreme drama, there was no better way to walk off into the horizon - with the bonus of another little notch in a tenure full of them.

The win was Pakistan's 26th under Misbah's captaincy, nearly double the next closest - Imran Khan and Javed Miandad led in 14 wins. And while the months since he led Pakistan to a brief stay at the top of the Test rankings have represented a dip in fortune, Misbah leaves the game broadly satisfied with what he has done.

"Whenever you think back, you think I've done this and that, you always have a feeling I could've done this a little better," Misbah told ESPNcricinfo. "I tried all that I could on my part, with whatever authority and responsibility I had, whatever was in my hands, I did what I could. I tried my level best with this team.

"And I think, thank God, we have achieved quite a few things in Test cricket especially. One-days also we achieved some things, stuff that other big sides couldn't do. With the resources, the situation, the limitations of Pakistan cricket I think that I am, to a great degree, satisfied with whatever we have achieved."

As glittering as some of the results have been - the three series against England, the whitewash of Australia - it might come to be the uninterrupted duration of his captaincy that, in time, turns out to be the most remarkable of his achievements.

Misbah was Pakistan's Test captain for well over six years, a stretch in which he missed only two of 58 Tests - and those were only because he was suspended for over-rate breaches. And he was 36 when he took over. Given the historic instability around the Pakistani captaincy, this was almost unimaginable continuity; even when Imran Khan captained over a decade between 1982 and 1992 there were periods when he was not automatically selected as captain

"No secret [to his endurance]," he said. "Patience is very important. The other thing, for captaincy, is that the most difficult task, you go there and do it yourself. If you do, then automatically players get behind you and start playing their roles.

"I didn't think of it is as a burden. Neither did I ever think that I would do it for this long, or did I worry about it being taken away from me. You are given a responsibility and you have players and resources around you who help you in fulfilling that.

"You maintain good relations with the players, with the board - with whoever you work with. Giving respect to everyone has helped me in my captaincy and I got respect in return."

Somehow, Pakistan must now fill the gargantuan hole left by Misbah's exit, as well as that of his great comrade Younis Khan. The pair leaves with nearly 200 Tests-worth of experience as well as over 15000 runs. It is not just the runs or Tests, however, that will need replacing.

"It will be difficult," Misbah said. "The most important thing, in any situation, is to have players who truly believe they can do it, players who believe that whatever the situation, whatever circumstances, they are the ones who can do it for the first time. That is the key thing to bring, that belief in a side - who are the players who will bring that belief into a side?

"That is where Pakistan will miss Younis Khan. In those scenarios, there has to be someone who can stand up, who can play an outstanding fourth innings, or who is out of form and can make a 200. From nowhere to play such an innings, if you have someone like that, you're always confident as a team."

And though he is leaving the field, Misbah will stay on in the game. It was unlikely to ever be in any other way. "It's simple. You've spent so much time in cricket, so you try and stay on in the field that you've worked in.

"Help others, continue things. I haven't decided specifically what yet, but, even if it is with my department (SNGPL), who have young players, I'll see what I can do. Or with my district side, if I can do something."